~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday February 17, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Talking Budget, Regulation and More with House Ag Committee Chairman, Frank Lucas
-- Congress Hoping to Derail Duplicative Permits for Use of Pesticides
-- Having a Conversation About the Lesser Prairie Chicken
-- National FFA Week Begins this Saturday
-- One in Five Consumers Show Support for Meatless Mondays
-- Chesapeake Energy Supports Conservation with Truck Giveaway
-- Listen to Ron Hays and Ed Richards on one of the Great Heritage Radio Stations in Southwest Oklahoma- KTJS in Hobart
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. One of the great success stories
of the Johnston brand is Wrangler Bermudagrass- the most widely planted
true cold-tolerant seeded forage bermudagrass in the United States. For
more on Johnston Enterprises- click
here for their brand new website!
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Talking Budget, Regulation and More with House Ag Committee Chairman, Frank Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We touched base with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas on Wednesday- and covered a lot of ground.
Our conversation began with the FY2012 Budget as proposed by President Barack Obama. Lucas strongly objects to the huge cuts in both the Direct Payments and the Crop Insurance programs proposed by the Obama Administration. Lucas has a message for the White House- "don't nickel and dime the mandatory programs that will be reviewed next year when the 2012 farm bill will be written."
Lucas admits that he does not like some of the major cuts being talked
about by both the White House and the GOP Leadership in the USDA
Discretionary Programs. He continues to tell House Leadership that the
actual programs in the Farm Bill need to be left alone- and decided upon
with the writing of new farm legislation in 2012.
We also talked about the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the possible listing of the bird on the Endangered Species List. And, we talked about the attack on farm policy that continues by those who want to take away the Direct Payment monies from the farm bill baseline, as well as the possible timeline of when the next farm bill might be written. Addressing that- Lucas continues to believe that we would be better off to get a farm bill written next spring and laid on the desk of President Obama as he runs for reelection next fall. He believes that Obama might decide to veto a bill if he were reelected and was in the White House in 2013.
Click on the LINK below for our webstory on our conversation- as well as the actual conversation of just over 13 minutes that you can listen to.
Click here for our thirteen minutes plus with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee- Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas.
Congress Hoping to Derail Duplicative Permits for Use of Pesticides
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A House Ag Subcommitte and Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee held a joint public hearing to consider reducing the regulatory burdens posed by the case National Cotton Council v. EPA (6th Cir. 2009) and to review related draft legislation.
Under the court ruling, pesticide users, which include farmers, ranchers, forest managers, state agencies, city and county municipalities, mosquito control districts, and water districts, among others would have to obtain a duplicative permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the use of pesticides. Pesticide applications are highly regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The order of the court goes into effect on April 9, 2011. At which time, pesticide applications not covered by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit are subject to a fine of up to $37,500 per day per violation. In addition to the costs of compliance, pesticide users will be subject to an increased risk of litigation under the citizen suit provision of the CWA.
The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, told the joint meeting "The issue before us today is extremely time-sensitive. If we fail to get bipartisan legislation to the President's desk by April 9, an unquestionably naïve and irresponsible court order will be implemented, which will impose a disastrous burden on government budgets and equally ruinous costs on small businesses."
He added that "EPA has administered a robust regulatory program for pesticides under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). It is my belief that sufficient authority exists under this act to balance the risks and benefits of pesticide applications."
Click here for more on this hearing and an audio report on the efforts to rein in this judicial ruling that could mean double permitting under two separate federal laws for ag producers.
Having a Conversation About the Lesser Prairie Chicken
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Lesser Prairie Chicken will be the subject of two Ranch Conversations being held next week by the High Plains RC&D Council. Speakers are scheduled to discuss the status of Lesser Prairie Chicken and the availability of habitat cost share programs that are available to agricultural producers. Ranch Conversation IV will be held in the Community Building, Beaver County Fairgrounds, Beaver, Oklahoma on Tuesday, February 22, and Ranch Conversation V will be held at the High Plains Institute of Technology, Room 201, Woodward, Oklahoma on Wednesday, February 23. Both meetings will begin at 4:00 pm in the afternoon. The meetings are open to the public, a meal will be provided and there is no charge to attend.
Landowners in northwestern Oklahoma may be impacted more than ever by the Lesser Prairie Chicken than ever before as the US Fish & Wildlife Service has started the process to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as "endangered". The process will take about 18 months and the likely result is that they will prescribe stocking rates and other management practices for producers, plus it is likely to affect wind energy development, and perhaps oil and gas drilling.
Speakers will include Ken Collins, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Tulsa; Kenneth Hitch, Steven Glasgow, and Richard Zetterberg, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Alva Gregory, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Service, and Ron Voth, Oklahoma Wildlife & Prairie Heritage Alliance. Mr. Collins is expected to discuss the implications of an Endangered Species Act Listing, followed by presentations from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation about the habitat programs that are available to assist producers in improving habitat conditions for the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
Click here for more details about the meetings- and how you can RSVP to help give them a count for the evening meal that is planned.
National FFA Week Begins this Saturday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Infinite Potential is the theme of this year's National FFA Week observance, February 19-26. Through this theme, members are encouraged to envision, discover and achieve their potential within their communities. National FFA President Riley Pagett of Woodward, Oklahoma says in order to feed a growing population the organization must do more. He says FFA members have Infinite Potential and have potential to do great things well beyond their FFA careers.
The week of George Washington's birthday was designated by the organization as National FFA Week in 1947. During the week, individual chapters initiate events to promote FFA and agriculture in their classrooms and communities. Events include community service projects, educational lessons for elementary students and promotional programs for students, teachers, and alumni.
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture-as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Click here for our story on National FFA week- which includes a link to an interview we did a couple of months back with National President Riley Pagett as he represents Oklahoma as National FFA President
One in Five Consumers Show Support for Meatless Mondays
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Meatless Mondays is a topic that has gained public notoriety over the last few years, and in recent weeks especially. A group known as the Center for Food Integrity wanted to know what consumers thought about the idea, and the organization reports that consumers weren't shy about sharing their feelings.
The group asked consumers, 'How do you feel about Meatless Mondays.' Out of the 274 responses received, nearly 20 percent of the respondents fully support the concept while nearly half said they support a balance of all types of food, including meat. One-third of the respondents indicated meat should be a regular feature in their diet.
There were several interesting comments that consumers offered the
group- a few supportive of Meatless Mondays- but most were not. For
example, one consumer offered "Meatless Mondays" has nothing to do with a
healthy diet. It's a publicity stunt by those who are against animal
Click here to jump to a website called BestFoodFacts where you can read more comments and get details of the study we have cited.
Chesapeake Energy Supports Conservation with Truck Giveaway
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As part of its continuing commitment to Oklahoma and the health of the state's environment, Chesapeake Energy Corporation today announced the donation of a pickup truck to be raffled off during the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) annual meeting in Oklahoma City, February 27, 28 and March 1st.
"Chesapeake Energy has been a long time supporter of conservation in Oklahoma," Trey Lam, President of OACD said. "We are extremely excited that they have so generously donated this truck to help further conservation work in our state. They are truly committed to the conservation and protection of our soil, water, air and wildlife habitats."
"It's an honor for Chesapeake to partner again with the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts," said Tom Price, Jr., Chesapeake Senior Vice President - Corporate Development and Oklahoma County Landowner/Cooperator. "Donating this truck is a way we at Chesapeake can help highlight the importance of environmental responsibility and further the conservation work which is critical to maintaining a high quality of life in our state."
"We are so appreciative of Chesapeake Energy and their continuous support of Conservation in Oklahoma," Clay Pope, Executive Director of OACD said. "Through the company's continued support of conservation programs and now this latest donation, Chesapeake is once again showing their strong commitment to the natural resources of Oklahoma. We are so happy to have them again assisting us in accomplishing our goals of conserving and protecting our states soil, water, air and wildlife habitats."
Click here for more on the Chesapeake Energy Support for Oklahoma Conservation Efforts.
Listen to Ron Hays and Ed Richards on one of the Great Heritage Radio Stations in Southwest Oklahoma- KTJS in Hobart
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~KTJS AM has been serving the southwestern quarter of the state of Oklahoma for decades- and for generations! Their full service approach to radio includes great local news with Paul Shields, weather and sports. It also includes national news coverage from the ABC radio network. And, it includes the very best in farm programming from Ron Hays and Ed Richards of the Radio Oklahoma Network.
All day long, KTJS offers up country music and great information, including our agricultural reports from the Radio Oklahoma Network. They broadcast on the AM band at 1420- and they are one of the few radio stations that has been consistently serving farmers and ranchers for well over 35 years.
When we first came to Oklahoma as a very young farm broadcast reporter- I remember the first survey of farmers and ranchers listening to the radio that our network conducted. The year was 1979- and the key radio stations across the state were all AM stations- and KTJS was one of the strongest rated stations in the state- and especially so in southwestern Oklahoma. There are a lot more radio signals today on AM but especially on FM- but KTJS continues to serve agriculture- and farmers in that region continue to tune in.
Click here for more details about KTJS- including times when they are carrying our RON Ag Radio Reports.
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We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $9.80 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.50 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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